John Krolik

Nets sign point guard Armon Johnson to 10-day contract

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Via NetsDaily’s Net Income:

Armon Johnson, who the Nets looked at before the 2010 draft, has been signed to a 10-day contract, bringing to 22 the number of players who’ve worn the Nets uniform this season.

A 6’3″ point guard, Johnson played 38 games for the Trail Blazers in 2010-11, averaging 2.9 ppg, shooting better than 40% from deep. He played then in one game this season after being called up from the Idaho Stampede. He is 23 years old and played college ball at Nevada.

With Jordan Farmar declared out for the year last week, the Nets need some additional minutes at point guard, so they’re giving Johnson a shot. Considering the success Gerald Green has had since the Nets decided to take a flyer on him, this could end up being a great chance for Johnson to get some real minutes and prove he belongs in the NBA.

Quote of the Day: CP3 responds to Cousins calling Griffin an “actor”


Via’ s Justin Verrier:

CP on DMC comments: “We won. He lost. We competing for the playoffs. He’s not. That happens in this league.”

Clippers point guard Chris Paul, responding to Kings forward DeMarcus Cousins’ statement that Blake Griffin is an “actor” who gets “babied by the league.” The Kings and Clippers will face each other at 10:30 PM EST tonight.

Report: Howard wanted Brian Shaw or Michael Malone to replace Van Gundy


From Bright House Sports Network’s David Baumann:

Multiple sources close to Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard told Bright House Sports Network’s David Baumann that prior to the season, Howard indicated that he preferred the Magic would have hired Indiana Pacers associate head coach Brian Shaw or Golden State Warriors assistant coach Michael Malone to replace current Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy.

Shaw is a former NBA guard who was an assistant coach with the Lakers for 7 years, and hence has more experience with Tex Winter’s legendary triple-post offense than all but a few coaches out there. Shaw is currently an assistant coach with the Pacers. Michael Malone, the son of Brendan Malone, is one of the best-respected assistant coaches in the league, and has been an assistant coach with the Cavaliers and Hornets. He is currently an assistant coach with the Golden State Warriors.

Kevin Samples, Howard’s manager and cousin, had this to say when asked about the coaching situation:

 “Dwight has nothing to do with the coach situation,” according to Kevin Samples, Howard’s manager.  When asked why a coaching change wasn’t made after the Magic were bounced in the first round of the playoffs last season, Samples said, “That’s a great question.  You’ll have to ask Otis (Smith).”

It certainly doesn’t seem like Dwight’s management team has a vested interest in Van Gundy keeping his job. We will, of course, continue to keep you updated on this soap opera as updates keep coming in.

Jazz GM O’Connor says team will not tank for pick


From the AP:

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Conspiracy theorists might think the Utah Jazz have an interesting dilemma Friday night against Golden State.

A Utah win will knock the Warriors farther down the standings while keeping the Jazz within striking distance of postseason play – scenarios that could leave the Jazz going from two possible lottery picks in June to none.

Jazz general manager Kevin O’Connor doesn’t care.

He wants the win.

Here’s the Jazz’s dilemma: if the Warriors finish with one of the 7 worst records in the league this season, the Jazz get their 1st-round pick, which was included in last year’s Deron Williams trade. If the Warriors don’t finish with one of the 8 worst records in the league, the Jazz will get their pick either next season or the season after.

On top of that, if the Jazz make the playoffs, they lose the pick they got from Minnesota as part of the trade that sent Al Jefferson to Utah.

Golden State currently has the 9th-worst record in the league but have been fading fast, and the Jazz are currently a game and a half away from the 8th and final playoff spot in the East.

Here we go again: Udonis Haslem calls Thunder’s Perkins “fake tough guy”


Our own Ira Winderman has the report:

While both James and Haslem downplayed Westbrook’s foul as one of exuberance in the heat of the moment, Haslem pointedly took umbrage to Perkins’ shove against Wade.

Recall, earlier this season Perkins derided James for drawing attention to Blake Griffin‘s highlight-of-the-season dunk on Perkins. Perkins also has a push-come-to-shove history with the Heat dating to his tenure with the Boston Celtics.

That had Haslem firing back on his radio appearance.

“I think sometimes people just use the TVs and the cameras and the crowd, you know, to put on a show,” Haslem said of Perkins. “I don’t think he’s all that he shows out there on the court.

Haslem said that Perkins wouldn’t play the way he does on the NBA court “in the park.” Haslem and Perkins verbally sparred with each other multiple times on Wednesday, and Perkins picked up his 12th technical of the season — if Perkins gets one more, he will be suspended for a game.

After the game, Wade told the media that the Heat are not “fake tough guys” — as Winderman points out, Kevin Durant called Chris Bosh one of the league’s “fake tough guys” last season.

To me, this is all a bit tiresome — Wade, Bosh, Haslem, and Perkins may or may not be fake tough guys, but they’re all real basketball players, and that’s what people should be focusing on when they take the court for their teams, who both seem to be on their way to long playoff runs in the coming months.